The Hogwarts Graduate
a HP fanfic adaptation by canoncansodoff
A/N: Muse-driven diversionary crack, inspired when I realized that nobody seems to have adapted "The Graduate" for a HP fanfic. Sorry, but it can't be helped. Obvious acknowledgment to United Artists and Buck Henry, who wrote the screenplay for "The Graduate." This story follows that plot line and completely or nearly completely borrows bits of dialogue from the movie. Oh, and thanks to JKR too, I suppose.
Disclaimer: Not my characters, no money being made, etc. etc. Story continuation subject to audience response and/or the whims of my muse.
Harry hadn't expected his fall into the pensieve to happen at terminal velocity from thirty-eight thousand feet.
Or for that descent to begin from the emergency exit of a depressurized Muggle airplane, and without the benefit of a broomstick or parachute, for that matter.
An idle thought crossed his mind, and Harry wondered whether he would add anything to the pensieve basin if he soiled his virtual pants. That voice inside his head that always sounded like his best friend scolded him, and suggested he think about more productive matters…like regaining control over his environment.
So he did, and slowed his descent to a far less hair-raising speed. Not that it took him any longer to float past the still battle-scarred castle and softly land upon the graduation ceremony platform, but such was the nature of magic.
His classmates and the Hogwarts faculty were sitting on that platform…at least those students and staff who had survived the Final Battle and either avoided or won their release from Madame Pomfrey's care.
"Real" Harry watched as "Memory Harry", dressed in hat and gown, nervously rose from his chair and shuffled towards the podium with a thick stack of parchment in his hands. Then he shifted his attention towards the other students, and floated a few moments in front of each of them. He studied their faces, and their reactions to what they were hearing. Merlin knows that he'd been too nervous the first time around to look up from his prepared comments.
Bored. They were all bored. And staring…staring at the back of Harry's head as he stood before their families and the others in attendance. Even Hermione was bored…and she'd been the one to write or revise most all of what was being said!
Harry turned, and tried to find the answers to that question by listening to himself speak.
"…and today it is right that we should ask ourselves the one most important question: What was the purpose of these years, the purpose for all of this demanding work, the purpose for the sacrifices made by those who love us? Why did it fall upon our young shoulders to rid Magical Britain of Voldemort, at such great cost? There has to be a purpose. Were there NOT a purpose, then all of these past years of struggle and the sacrifices made by those who stood against the Darkness would be meaningless. But, of course, there is a purpose and I must tell it to you. I ask you to remember this purpose always and I pledge that I shall endeavor to carry it with me forever…"
A gust of wind struck the podium, causing all of the loose pages of the speaker's parchment to scatter across the stage. While "Memory Harry" tried vainly to collect them, "Real Harry"'s eyes shot out towards the audience, and traced the source of that wind back towards the general direction of the Weasley Twins.
"Right, then…one mystery solved," Harry thought.
The Incendio spells that turned the airborne pieces of parchment into ash came from the stage. But from whose wand or wands? That would require another trip into this specific memory.
Harry sighed, and watched the flustered younger version of himself get shepherded back towards the podium, and encouraged by the Headmaster to carry on.
The speaker began to sweat as he faced the audience.
"The purpose, my fellow graduates…the purpose is…"
Speaker-Harry stopped and tried to think of the right word. He turned towards Hermione, but she just stared passively back at him. He looked out into the audience. They were staring at him too.
"Erm, the…there is a reason, my friends, and the reason is…"
The moment was almost too painful for the "real" Harry to relive. But strangely enough, the memory audience shared his thoughts, because now the chairs in front of the podium were empty. And the stage was empty, save for the speaker.
"…the reason is," Memory Harry stammered. "…the purpose is…"
Real Harry felt a hand touch his shoulder. He turned, and looked into the warm eyes of a very attractive Muggle flight attendant.
"How in Merlin's name did she get in here?" he thought.
"Sir?" she asked. "I'm sorry to awaken you, but we're about to begin our descent. You'll have to fasten your seat belt."
The teenaged wizard blinked rapidly, and then looked around. He was not inside a pensieve. He wasn't even outside of a pensieve.
But he was back inside an airplane.
"Erm, right…thanks," he muttered.
The flight attended smiled as she leaned forward and lightly dragged her fingers from his shoulder down towards his lap. He was too busy staring at the cleavage that was gliding towards his face to notice the fingers…until they landed high up on his thigh.
"Would you like some help, Sir?" she coyly (and quietly) asked.
Harry yelped when the question was punctuated with a squeeze.
"Erm, no…no thanks, I think I can manage," he stammered, jamming his seat belt buckle shut.
The attractive Muggle woman pursed her lips in disappointment. Then she squeezed his thigh in disappointment, before leaning back and moving down the aisle towards the next row of passengers.
"Bloody Hell!" Harry hissed.
"I'll say," grumbled the obese Muggle man sitting next to Harry. "Wish that I could get that kind of personal attention…Lord knows I give this airline enough of my business…."
Harry groaned, fearing that he'd be forced into hearing more about the boorish man's business ventures. Fortunately, he was saved by the bell. And by the Captain's voice that followed the bell.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the sound you have just heard is the landing gear locking into place. The weather in London is currently overcast with a temperature of eighteen. We do not expect any traffic delay, and will be spot on our arrival time. We have enjoyed having you on board, and look forward to seeing you again in the near future."
"Thank God for small favors," the Muggle salesman stated. "Not that I mind all the business, and the business entertainment that goes with it…but these thirteen hour flights from Bangkok are hell!"
On that point Harry agreed. He nodded, and once again wondered whether it was worth whining about the extra nine-hour flight that he had made just to get to Thailand from Sydney.
He decided against it, not wanting to prompt the unpleasant man into spinning new yarns about the exotic women that he had bedded (and presumably paid for). So he sighed, and pointedly shifted his focus towards the instructions being provided by that the flirty flight attendant. The bounce in her curly hair reminded him of Hermione.
She had been far better company on the flight down to Australia, despite all of the worry and grief.
He understood why she had decided to stay Down Under. There was still some important repair work to do on the strained relationship with her memory-restored parents. What he didn't understand was why he hadn't done the same. Not stay with her parents, mind you…but to stay away from Britain for a few more weeks. Or months. Or decades.
However long it took to figure out the purpose.
The "now what?"
And if that was too hard…to determine why the hell he hadn't just sprung for the cost of an international portkey.
Sirius looked up the stairwell and frowned.
"Let the boy be," Remus advised. "Between that hellishly-long trip…and those lingering curses…and you know he's going to hate all the focus."
Harry's godfather rolled his eyes, then used those eyes to scan the room full of invited guests.
"He can't hide forever," he muttered. "Has to take his place…learn to mingle…maybe catch the eye of somebody and start making Potter babies…"
"Says the childless Black family patriarch," chided Tonks.
"Not by choice…and certainly not for lack of effort," her cousin replied.
Somebody else's joke generated laughter from across the room. Sirius craned his neck to determine its source, but instead heard voices that carried from a different corner.
"…received Outstanding in both Transfiguration and Arithmancy…he's going to decide in the next few days on which Mastery to pursue…"
"Well our daughter has already started in on her Apprenticeship in Salem…don't like her having to rough it amongst the Colonials, but when the most famous Runemaster in the world makes an offer…"
"My grandson has taken on his family responsibilities as if he was born and bred to be the head of the family. Which of course he was…"
Sirius growled, in a pitch low enough and menacing enough to have come from his Animagus form. These were all…well, if they weren't all friends, they were at least good acquaintances. Political allies in the Wizengamot had been invited to this party, as had partners and co-directors in some of the Black family's diverse business interests. Their spouses, too. And they were all blathering on about what their darling little witch or wizard had achieved, or were planning on achieving within in the magical world.
It was time to remind his guests just who had made all of these opportunities possible.
His eyes were open. He was trying to remember something important as he lay in bed, but kept getting distracted by the music playing on the wireless, as well as the snippets of muted conversation that drifted up the stairwell and into his bedroom. He could have fixed that first problem by getting up and turning the music off…but that would have taken more energy than seemed available at the moment.
The door opened, allowing more of the fragmented dinner party conversations into the room. Harry kept staring at the ceiling, not bothering to pay even lip service to the call for "Constant Vigilance!" Then the door closed and wordless spells were cast that lit up the room and lowered the music volume.
And still Harry didn't move.
"What's the matter?" his visitor asked.
Harry's mouth opened a little bit, then closed again.
"The guests are all downstairs, Harry. They're all waiting to see you."
"Look, Sirius…could you explain to them that I have to be alone for a while?"
"But this is more than just the usual crowd, Harry. We've invited some of the families who couldn't come out and denounce Voldemort…even as they helped our cause behind the scenes. Most of them haven't had a chance to speak with you since…since that day."
Harry didn't move, but the bed did once Sirius walked over and sat down upon it next to him.
"What is it, Pup?"
Sirius's godson let out a deep breath and shook his head.
"Worried about what, Harry?"
"I guess…about my future."
"What about it?"
"I don't know. I want it to be…"
"To be what?"
As Harry said this, the door to the bedroom opened once more, and Sirius's wife looked in.
"Is anything wrong?" she asked.
"No! No, Hestia…we're just on our way downstairs."
Sirius rose from the bed, walked over to a desk chair, and picked up Harry's robes which had been lying across it.
"The Carsons' are here," Hestia noted.
"They are?" asked Sirius. Then he reached down, swung the teenager's legs off the bed, and pulled him up onto his feet.
"Come on," he said, holding the fine silk robes out for Harry's arms.
"They flew all the way down from Carlisle," said Hestia.
"It's a wonderful thing to have so many friends," offered Sirius, as he steered Harry out the door.
The Carlsons were walking up the stairs just as Harry, Sirius and Hestia were walking down.
"Hey, there's the Savior of the Wizarding World," Mr. Carlson said.
"We're all very proud of you, Harry," his wife added.
"Thank you, Mrs. Carlson."
"Is that the new broomstick leaning against the front of the carriage house?" asked Mr. Carlson. "That red-trimmed Wop racing job?"
"That's Harry's graduation present," Sirius said proudly. "Latest and fastest model out of Milan."
By this time the five witches and wizards were at the same stair level, which allowed Mr. Carlson to drape an arm around Harry's shoulder.
"Won't have much trouble picking them up riding that, will you?"
"The lovely little witches, Harry," the guest replied roguishly. "The birds! The screaming fan girls!"
Mrs. Carlson chuckled. "I think that Harry has gotten well beyond the screaming fan girl stage…haven't you, Harry?"
The witch gave Harry a broad wink. Harry tried to smile and politely return the wink.
They had by now reached the bottom of the stairs.
"Excuse me," said Harry. "I think that I'd just like to check that broom for a minute."
The teen-aged wizard moved to the back door of 12 Grimmauld Place and opened it, coming face-to-face with a new arrival.
"Here's the Hero of Hogwarts himself!" the wizard loudly announced. "How are you, Hero of Hogwarts?"
"Just fine, Mr. Diggle."
The older wizard closed the door and pushed Harry back down the hall.
"I want to get a butterbeer and then I want to hear all about that thing you got from the Frogs. That Liaison Donor."
"Legion d'honneur," Harry corrected.
"Legion of Honor! Right!" the wizard declared. "Now you wait right here."
The Order member turned and headed towards the formal dining room. Harry tried to move back towards the stairway just as three older witches came out of the parlor. One of the women took Harry's left hand, and a second took his right while the third ran her hands down the front of his robes.
"Harry, we're all so proud of you," the first witch gushed.
"Proud, proud, proud, proud, proud!" sang the second, as she reached up and tussled his hair.
"What are you going to do now?" asked the third.
Harry tried to run his own fingers through his hair, but this nervous reaction was thwarted by all of the hand holding.
"I was going to go upstairs for a minute," he admitted.
"No…I meant with your future."
"With your life," the first witch clarified.
"Well, that's a little hard to say, now that…"
A wizard appeared behind Harry.
The teenager winced almost imperatively. He quickly covered this expression with a smile, and addressed the ladies.
"If you three would be so kind as to excuse me…?"
Harry then turned around.
"Harry!" the red-haired wizard gushed.
The older wizard started to say something…but stopped short and instead took Harry's arm and steered him back towards the back of the house and out through the back door.
"Good to have you back in the country, Harry."
"Good to be back, Sir," Harry lied.
Arthur walked Harry through the formal garden, and into the area where Sirius had installed a Muggle-style pool. Two adult couples were standing and talking there, with drinks in hand.
"Harry…now that the War is over and you're out of school…I just want to say one word to you…just one word…"
"Are you listening?" Arthur asked.
"Yes I am."
The red-haired wizard looked over his shoulders towards the other guests. Then he turned back towards Harry and adopted a serious tone of voice.
They looked at each other for a moment.
"Exactly how do you mean?" Harry asked.
"There is a great future within our world for plugs. Think about it. Will you think about it, Harry?"
"Yes, I will."
"Okay. Enough said. That's a deal."
Mr. Weasley nodded to himself, then turned and walked back into the house. The people standing on the other side of the pool looked towards Harry.
"Here he is now," one of the witches noted. "Here's Harry."
"Excuse me just a minute…" he asked, quickly following Arthur's footsteps.
He swam against a strong current of people trying to stop him, and to speak to him as he walked through the ground floor of the mansion, up the stairs, and back inside his bedroom.
Harry slammed the door shut, then leaned back against it. After his heart rate dropped a few beats he walked over to his bedroom window and looked out into the night.
The bedroom door opened. Harry turned as an attractive, middle-aged witch entered the room.
"Oh, I guess this isn't the toilet, is it?"
Harry shook his head.
"It's down the hall."
The two stood for a moment, looking at each other.
"How are you, Harry?"
"Fine, thank you," he nervously replied. "The toilet is down at the end of the hall."
The witch moved into the room and sat down on the edge of the bed. The hem of her low-cut robes rode up over her knees and revealed a bit of thigh as she crossed her legs.
"Look, Mrs. Davis, I don't mean to be rude, but…"
Tracy's mother took a fag from her purse and lit it with her wand tip.
"Is there an ashtray in here?"
"Oh, I forgot. The Hero of Hogwarts doesn't have any vices."
Mrs. Davis brought the tip of her wand towards her pursed lips and blew on it, as if it was a Muggle match. Her lips held that kiss-ready position as she brought the cigarette up and took a deep drag.
Harry sucked in a breath as well. His eyes darted around the room. He dashed over to a wastebasket, picked it up, and brought it up to the side of the bed next to his uninvited guest.
That guest caught his attention by pressing her hold up-covered leg against Harry's hand. He jerked his hand back as if he'd just been burned.
"Is it a girl?"
"Is what a girl?" Harry asked.
"Whatever it is you're upset about."
"Oh, no. I'm just sort of disturbed about things."
"In general," Mrs. Davis clarified.
There was a long pause.
"Harry, I want to ask you something."
"Will you take me home?"
"My husband took our broom. And with the floo service still down, and us practically being neighbors...wouldn't take you any time…"
Harry reached into his pocket and handed the witch the small rune stone that was keyed into his broom's security system.
"Here…you take it."
Mrs. Davis just looked at him.
"Do you know how to work a foreign broom?"
Tracy's mother shook her head.
There was a pause.
"Let's go," said Harry.
The witch's lips curled up into a small grin as she threw the rune stone back towards Harry.
Sirius was chatting with the Carlsons at the base of the stairs as Harry and Mrs. Davis reached the main level.
"Hey Siri…Mrs. Davis needs a ride home. I'll be right back."
Sirius smiled and patted Harry on the shoulder as Tracy's mother brushed by.
"Wonderful party," she purred, before walking down the hall.
Harry was quick to follow, catching up to the witch in time to open the door for her.
"Such good manners, Harry," she said, as she patted his arm and slipped hers through it.
"Thank you, Mrs. Davis."
The two couples were still outside talking by the pool. The witches glared a bit at Tracy's mother and her escort, but held their tongues. Or at least held their snarky comments to a low-enough volume.
There was a long line of broomsticks stacked against the carriage house, reflecting not just the still-disabled status of the floo network, but also the disinclination of the party guests to actually walk the three-block distance between the mansion and the edge of its maximum-strength anti-apparition wards. The house elf in charge of valet parking caught the rune key that Harry tossed in his direction and rushed to retrieve the Italian racing broom. It was already hovering by the time that Harry and Mrs. Davis reached it.
Harry thanked the House Elf as he grabbed high up on the broom's handle and swung his leg across. He made a point of sitting closer to his hands than normal, so as to provide his passenger with an appropriate amount of stick on which to ride side-saddle.
Mrs. Davis chose not to use the provided length of stick. Or to ride side-saddle. Or to be appropriate.
Which became all too clear to Harry when her knees appeared outside of each of his own knees and squeezed tight. And when he felt a pair of breasts mash up against his back. And when two hands grabbed his hips and pulled his bum back until it was flush against his passenger's crotch.
"Are you comfortable back there? Need more room?"
The witch's fingers wiggled dangerously close to Harry's crotch.
"Such good manners," she purred, leaning her full weight against Harry's back. "I'm very comfortable, thanks."
Harry gulped, wishing that he could say the same.